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Great Ways to Work Out Indoors

Don't let winter weather freeze out your workout

Marvelous Machines continued...

Pino and Calgaro both recommend doing a circuit-type workout, alternating work on any cardiovascular machine with some strength exercises.

"Warm up with about 2 to 3 minutes on the treadmill," says Pino, "then get off and do a set of 10 to 15 bicep curls. Then go back to the treadmill."

This kind of workout keeps you from getting bored and keeps the heart rate up, he says.

Calgaro recommends a workout that alternates 5 minutes on the elliptical machine, two strength moves, and 1 minute of recovery, repeated six times. For example, alternate 5 minutes on the elliptical machine with 15 assisted squats and 15 crunches or 15 standing lunges. (All these strength moves work several major muscle groups at the same time.)

"It shocks the system and spices up the workout," she says.

If you're usually an outdoor exerciser and want to maintain your fitness level, Pino says, choose indoor activities that mimic your outdoor sports. For example, if you usually walk or ride your bike in a hilly neighborhood, choose the hill profile on the elliptical machine or stationary bicycle.

Or, you might decide to do something entirely different when you move your workout inside.

"Changing activities will allow your body to recover from the hard summer and fall programs but still challenge you," Pino says.

Winter Workout Tips

Our fitness experts offered these tips for winter workouts:

  • Dress in layers, whether you're outside or in the gym. As your body temperature heats up, you can shed layers to keep from overheating.
  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids. This is easy in the summer when it's hot, but in winter, we are consuming more hot coffee, tea, and cocoa and less water, which can lead to dehydration.
  • If you work out at home, make sure the floor you're working on is appropriate, says Calgaro. If you're in the basement on cement, for example, put some kind of mat down to protect your feet, knees, and back.
  • Bring a change of clothes if you're working out at the gym so you don't have to get out in the elements all sweaty and wet.
  • Even when you're exercising at home, find friends or neighbors to exercise with. "Have two to five people come over and do a workout time," says Swain. "You can sit and talk about a book or eat together, why not work out?"
  • Think about ways to incorporate more activity into your daily life. We all tend to move less in the winter.
  • Don't use winter as an excuse to stop exercising. Make working out something you want to do, not something you have to do, says Khan. Add variety to your exercise; change the order of your workout. On the days you just don't feel like exercising, complete just one set of 10 strength exercises (one for each muscle group) and you're done.


Reviewed on December 09, 2005

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